Controlling funguses could cut waste by $13.6b
China could cut food waste by 85 billion yuan ($13.6 billion) a year if it were to prevent and control toxic funguses that destroy grain harvests and threaten human health worldwide, experts said.
“Prevention and control of mycotoxins is an urgent need for China and the world in guaranteeing food and environment security,” said Chen Mengshan, head of the China Academy of Agricultural Sciences, at the opening ceremony of the International Mycotoxin Conference 2014 in Beijing.
About 31 million metric tons of grain a year —or 6.2 percent of the country’s total annual grain output — are tainted by mycotoxins, according to the State Administration of Grain.
Mycotoxins are toxic fungal metabolites produced by molds, which occur frequently in areas with a hot and humid climate that is favorable for the growth of molds.